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AdveRTisiNg feATuRe FINANCE


Will the government become a beneficiary of your estate?


wiTH THe vAlue of BATH pRopeRTies RisiNg, so is THe Need foR iHT Advice T


he government is set to increase its tax take on inheritance tax (IHT) from around £3.5bn a year today to around £6bn by 2018/19.


As a result, the numbers of households needing to pay – or plan to mitigate – IHT will almost quadruple over the next few years. (Source: STEP and IFS).


This increase will come about through: • an eight-year freeze in the Nil Rate Band by 2018/19


• continuing low interest rates in the short term


• the Help to Buy scheme • a recovery in sentiment – people willing to pay more for properties


The housing recovery is particularly prevalent in Bath and the surrounding region. According to the Halifax Building Society and Savills Estate Agents, the value of property in the area looks set to rise by 31 per cent over the period to 2018 (Source: Express, Halifax and Savills). Whilst this demonstrates a welcome recovery in house prices, it leaves many more people potentially liable to IHT.


What is inheritance tax?


IHT is a tax paid on death and on estates with a value of:


• over £650,000 for a couple (married or in a civil partnership)


• over £325,000 for an individual


This allowance is known as the Nil Rate Band or NRB for short. The rate of tax is 40 per cent on the value in excess of the NRB, irrespective of the tax paid during the life of the deceased.


How can I reduce my IHT liability?


There are a number of ways in which


Duncan Watson, head of technical planning and compliance


estates worth more than this can take steps to reduce IHT, ranging from:


• spending money yourself • gifting to others • using exemptions • setting up trusts • taking out insurance • investing in certain investments with iHT benefits


Any, all or none of these could be suitable in any given situation but with house values taking up a large part of the NRB (or exceeding it) it’s vital to get the best possible advice in order to ensure your affairs are in the best shape.


Where to go for IHT advice


If mitigating IHT without compromising your goals is important for you, it makes sense to get advice. A sensible first step would be to speak to a financial planner, a solicitor, an accountant, an estate agent or maybe a combination of all of them. The fact is that many more households are likely to pay IHT in the near future, so don’t bury your head in the sand. Act now! epoch wealth Management is an award- winning firm of chartered financial planners and they can help if you believe you have an issue. To contact them, call 01225 322790 or email enquiries@epochwm.co.uk BL


www.mediaclash.co.uk Bath Life 93


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